30 by 30

Well, the time has come.  In approximate 9 1/2 weeks, I will be 30.
Yes, I realize that some of you don’t think this is a big deal,
but for me it is.

I’ve never cared about age before, but for some reason I have struggled with this one.
So, as I reflected on what I would like to accomplish by then, one thing really stood out to me…
my weight.

I’ve never been considered the “skinny girl.”  I had curves which was not always accepted.
I’m also Italian, so it kind of came with the territory.  As did eating things like pasta, bread, etc…
Of course, more recently my body has gone through two pregnancies
and that takes its own toll on the body.

Now hear me when I say that I’m JUST FINE with this!!!
I mean, sure, has it been hard?
But it’s not something that has controlled my life.

All that being said, I’ve decided to do something about it.
I’ve challenged myself to my very own “30 by 30” challenge.
Lose 30 pounds by the time I turn 30.

I realized that there are some of you out there who know me and you’re saying to yourself,
“You don’t need to lose 30 pounds!”
And to you, I say thank you.  I appreciate you thinking that, but the reality of the situation is…
yes I do.

In order to be in the “healthy range” for my height and build, I need to lose between 18-32 pounds.  I’ve chosen to go for the bigger goal.
Plus, I mean “18 by 30” just doesn’t sound as cool!

So how am I doing it?

About a month ago, I called a dear friend who, although not a registered dietician, is a very healthy and active woman who also raises five children.  So, I figured she could help me with figuring out how to balance diet and exercise with my busy life as a mom of two under three.  She and I talked about what I wanted to accomplish.  Not only did I want to lose the weight, but I also wanted to establish a more healthy lifestyle for my family.  If you’ve kept up with this blog at all, then you know I’m not much of a homemaker.  Therefore, learning to cook healthy food was important to me.  I needed to learn it for myself and my husband, but more importantly…
I needed to learn it for my children.

She presented me with an option called “Transition Lifestyle,” which I’ll refer to as TLS from now on.  It’s not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle change.  This is exactly what I had been thinking.  I’ve tried many diets in the past: Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins.  But none of them had worked.  Mostly because I didn’t have accountability and also because I didn’t understand what I was doing.  My friend and her husband had been a part of this program several years ago as part of his work,
so she still had all of her information.
It was going to be hard, but I was willing to try.

The first week of TLS is a detox.  There were only about 40 fruits and vegetables I was allowed to eat and I could really only drink water.  I was only allowed three servings of fruit a day.  The rest had to be vegetables.  I didn’t think this was going to be that difficult, but after the first day…

I wanted to eat everything!!!!

It was amazing how much my body was craving certain things.  After the longest week of my life, I realized that my detox was more mental than physical.  I had to reboot my mind into thinking about healthier options for things.  It was amazing how much my thoughts changed after this week.  I didn’t want to snack on my regular food and I was craving more healthy options.  I made it through the week because of the accountability with my friends doing the same thing.
Without them, I wouldn’t have survived.

I’m now in Phase One and am feeling great!  I have more energy than I’ve had in a long time and my family has been eating healthier than ever!  I still have a long way to go, but I’m confident that I’ll hit my goal.  Maybe it won’t be in nine weeks, but it will be by this summer.
I plan on rockin an awesome Mom-kini by summertime!

Oh, and in case  you’re wondering…
I started on January 21st and
I’ve only got 23 pounds to go!

~ Jess Elaine

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Recipe Review: November 5-9

I have to admit…I had a lot of fun cooking this past week!  I feel so good when I have planned something in advance and it comes together.  Maybe it’s because I’m a little type A, but planning and organizing is fun to me =)  I’m going to include Monday through Friday even if I didn’t cook each day, so you can see what a typical week in our house looks like.  Everyone is different, but you can easily plan for your family if you try.  I’ve also started two new boards on Pinterest.  One for successes and one for things we will not be having again.  You can find those here and here.

So, what did we have last week?  Here’s a breakdown plus a few thoughts I had…
I had several cans of croissants in our refrigerator, so I tried to find things I could use them with.  I’m learning to “shop” my fridge and pantry first before meal planning and shopping so I don’t let something go to waste or spend unnecessarily.

Monday: Carmon’s Taco Croissant
I really like the blog where this recipe was found.  I saw this recipe a couple weeks ago and knew I wanted to make it.  This was a BIG hit in our house!  The taco seasonings plus the buttery croissant was really tasty.  I am becoming a fan of filling a croissant ring with whatever I want and just putting it in the oven for a bit.  It opens the door for so much experimentation!  I served it with On The Boarder tortillas chips (cause they’re the best!) and salsa.  An easy yummy meal!

Tuesday: We ended up going over to our friend’s house and having taco salad this night.

Wednesday: We usually go to church on Wednesday nights, so I try to keep dinner easy.  I opted to try a new crockpot recipe.  I had run across Crockpot Beer Chicken and thought I’d give it a try. It was an easy recipe to follow and didn’t require much prep, but that was about the only thing good about it.  It wasn’t that it tasted bad, but that it didn’t have much of a taste at all.  You would also expect that chicken cooked for about 7 hours in a crockpot would be moist.  The chicken fell apart easily, but it was actually very dry.  I served it with peas and rolls.  Just to make sure, I called my friend who made it the same day and the response was the same.  We both will not be making this again.

Thursday: I was able to go out with a dear friend for dinner this night, so the amazing hubby watched the kids.  I did have some leftovers warmed and ready for him when he got home though.

Friday: I usually don’t cook on Fridays because we are with our church small group.

I’ve now been doing this for a couple weeks and I’m feeling really good about it!  It’s like I can’t wait till I can plan for the next week and see what other yummy recipes I can find and make.  I hope this blog is encouraging to you.  I know we can all use a little encouragement now and then.  I hope I can provide some!

Happy cooking!
~Jess Elaine